Considerably misplaced amid the excessive quantity of reports this 12 months is the truth that 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ touchdown at Cape Cod, the place the colonists landed in November 1620. After a 66-day voyage throughout the Atlantic, they spent their first 5 weeks anchored off of what’s now Provincetown, then sailed to the mainland and arriving in Plymouth in December. The primary Thanksgiving occurred the next 12 months, in 1621.
The importance of this 12 months is unquestionably not misplaced on Redmond resident Rebecca Locklear, a 13th-generation Mayflower descendant and the pinnacle of the group Central Oregon Mayflower and Wampanoag Descendants. Locklear is a former Redmond Faculty District trainer who taught varied topics — primarily English, historical past, music and drama — earlier than pivoting a number of years in the past to write down books, in addition to brief performs and skits, for educators.
“After instructing at Sage Elementary in Redmond for six years, I used to be itching to return abroad. My fellow lecturers requested who would educate the Latin and Greek roots class once I was gone,” Locklear stated.
Her answer was to share her lesson plans, which later ended up being her printed curriculum, “Phrase Archeology – Digging Up Latin and Greek Roots (grades 4-12),” which stays one among her top-selling instructional books.
“That have bought me pondering. After I got here house from instructing in Switzerland in 2016, I made a decision to alter my profession path and write supplies for lecturers,” Locklear stated. “I actually wished to share artistic, hands-on concepts that had labored for me.”
Although she’s lived in Oregon for 37 years, Locklear was born on Cape Cod only a mile from First Encounter Seashore, the spot the place a Pilgrim scouting expedition had its first encounter with native American Indians.
Regardless of her deep ties to the European settlers, it wasn’t till July 2019 that Locklear, a former Redmond Faculty District trainer, formally joined the Normal Society of Mayflower Descendants.
“I had no clue,” she stated. “That is actually humorous. I used to be doing analysis on a Unit Research that’s actually closely weighted in Cape Cod and Oregon. It’s known as ‘Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915,’ which was a precursor of the U.S. Coast Guard. I used to be performing some analysis at a library in Chatham, Cape Cod, and one of many librarians stated to me, ‘Oh, you might be a type of Eldredges? Effectively, you’re a Mayflower descendant.’”
After that multi-year mission, “I believed, ‘OK, I’m going to see if I can pull this off and be an official Mayflower descendant.’ Nevertheless it was as a result of a librarian stated one thing to me.”
“I waited 5 lengthy months to search out out if they might settle for my software,” she stated with amusing. “It’s fairly tough to search out your beginning, loss of life and marriage certificates for everybody.” She’s associated to 4 totally different descendants, however for the sake of becoming a member of the group, targeted on one, Stephen Hopkins, one of many signers of the Mayflower Compact, arguably an antecedent to American democracy, wherein the Pilgrims made an settlement to self-govern.
Now, different members of her household, together with her son and sister, have additionally develop into members of the Normal Society of Mayflower Descendants. Locklear then turned related with 11 different descendants and households in Central Oregon, forming a social group with the target of selling Mayflower 400: 1620-2020.
“We shared genealogical histories, mentioned related points, and sampled meals much like what Natives or Pilgrims would have eaten,” Locklear stated. “One of the best a part of this group has been making new pals — usually actually cousins,” she stated.
The group had deliberate to have a float within the Redmond Fourth of July Parade and different programming, all canceled because of COVID-19.
One other group that was not caught off-guard by the anniversary was the Eastham 400 Committee, fashioned to commemorate the quadricentennial of the touchdown. Due to her heritage and her background in schooling, the committee approached Locklear about writing “The Mayflower at Cape Cod,” a unit examine for college students in grades 6-12 printed earlier this 12 months.
The mission happened in September 2019, when Locklear was on Cape Cod giving a presentation on one other of her unit research, “Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915,” in regards to the forerunner to the U.S. Coast Guard. A member of the Eastham 400 Committee approached Locklear and requested if she’d write one on the Mayflower.
“He stated there are not any supplies for grades 6-12 that embrace the most recent historic data on the Pilgrims and Wampanoags,” Locklear stated. “I agreed to write down a unit and remained on Cape Cod to attended lectures on current analysis, to interview a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and go on a nature hike with one other tribal member, evaluate the legacy of my former trainer and Native activist Frank Wamsutta James, and head as much as Plymouth for extra analysis.”
Within the course of, she found conflicting data from some main organizations, together with the Pilgrim Corridor Museum, Plimoth Plantation and the Normal Society of Mayflower Descendants.
“This was irritating, notably since I used to be given solely six weeks to write down the unit,” she stated. “I ended up making selections based mostly on help from historians on the Cape Cod Nationwide Seashore.”
Locklear’s ebook is stuffed with fascinating details, and dispels collective notions that Pilgrims wore the big-buckled hats and sneakers — that was the Puritans, who got here alongside a decade later. The ebook is particularly targeting these early weeks on Cape Cod, and one among its seven classes is dedicated to Native Indians, whose roots on Cape Cod return 8,000 years, in keeping with “The Mayflower at Cape Cod,” and it discusses soberly among the much less flattering details in regards to the presence of whites: Pilgrims robbed a local cache of winter meals and even their graves, and a white-man-induced plague from 1616-19 worn out an estimated 90 p.c of the native inhabitants from Rhode Island to Maine, together with the native Wampanoag inhabitants: “Thus, when the Pilgrims left the Cape Cod space to settle in Plymouth, the Wampanoags fashioned an alliance with them,” she writes. “Each events would assist one another if attacked by the Narragansetts.”
“In my analysis for any historical past unit research I attempt to chorus from judging folks in previous cultures and instances by at present’s requirements and perceived enlightened pondering, and as an alternative take a look at the scenario throughout the context of the instances,” Locklear stated.
“The Mayflower at Cape Cod” is offered at Herringbone Books in Redmond and Amazon, and is out there digitally on Academics Pay Academics. For extra on Locklear and her books, go to rebeccalocklear.com.
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